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Protest turns violent as community calls for shut-down of Waterbury motel following years of illegal activity

A change.org petition, titled 'CRUSH THE APPLE' was organized by Ronae Mason Craig and has garnered over 2,000 signatures thus far.
Credit: FOX61

WATERBURY, Conn. — Officers responded to the area of 428 West Main Street at 5:30 p.m. Friday to monitor a planned protest.

Protesters were calling for the ‘Big Apple Motel’ to be closed down.

According to a release, as the crowd grew to over 100 individuals by 7 p.m., they were blocking streets in the area and several became violent.

Some were seen on the roof trying to damage the electronic billboard sign, while others were breaking the front windows on the business, Waterbury PD. Lt. David Silverio said.

He continued saying several people involved went in the motel through the broken windows and damaged property inside the lobby.

Protesters fled back into the street when police went in to check for injured persons.

Waterbury PD say they were able to identify one 16-year-old who threw a metal object through the front window before running away from the West Main Street scene. He was apprehended in the area of Willow Street and West Main Street.

The juvenile was charged with 2nd-degree Criminal Mischief.

Police also arrested a male who is accused of picking up a rock and throwing it at a sergeant. Officials said the rock barely missed striking that sergeant in the head.

After fleeing from the scene, the suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Angel Troche of Waterbury, was also apprehended in the area of Willow Street and West Main Street.

Credit: Waterbury Police Department
Angel Troche

Troche was charged with Criminal Attempt at Assault on a Public Safety Officer. He was held on a $5000 bond pending arraignment.

According to Waterbury PD, the crowd dispersed at approximately 11:00 p.m.

A change.org petition, titled 'CRUSH THE APPLE' was organized by Ronae Mason Craig and has garnered over 2,000 signatures thus far.

Craig says the motel has become a place where drugs, sexual assaults and other illegal activity have frequently occurred.

"We must hold the officials responsible for permitting Big Apple Motel to remain open accountable," Craig wrote. "The owner of the motel has not done his part by keeping out illegal activities that include using & selling of drugs, sex crimes and fatalities."

FOX61 reached out to Waterbury PD for details on their history responding to illegal activity at the motel.

Officials confirmed that from December 2015 to Friday, police officers and/or firefighters have responded to 743 calls for service, 50 of which were incidents with arrests.

Those arrests were for offenses such as:

  • Narcotic/Illegal drug violations
  • Disorderly Conduct/Breach of Peace
  • Larceny/Stolen Property
  • Simple Assault
  • Domestic/Family Offenses 
  • Trespassing
  • Aggravated Assaults
  • Weapon law violations
  • Arrest by outstanding arrest warrants

Vandalism at the ‘Big Apple Motel’ Friday night included damage to the front windows,  the electronic motel sign, a television flat screen in the lobby, a food vending machine in the lobby, two small digital signs and surveillance cameras.

"This place is a safety issue and is greatly affecting families within Waterbury," Craig continued.

Police say the investigation remains open and active.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Waterbury detectives at (203) 574-6941.